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X3 F25 (2011 - current)
The latest X3 brings some added style and some new features to the BMW SUV family. Talk about the new F25 now!

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  #1  
Old 10-27-2012, 05:57 PM
M&A QB M&A QB is offline
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Unhappy Baby Car Seat Hardly Fits New X3

So we’re 4 weeks into our new 2013 X3 xdrive35i – got our first little one on the way and bought this to be the family car (our other car is a 335xi coupe, so that won’t fit the bill). Perhaps this was a rookie mistake, but I assumed that any normal baby car seat would fit in the back of the X3 without any issues.

Today, we took our X3 to the BMW dealer where we purchased the vehicle to have the baby car seat installed (it’s one of the services they offer) and were disappointed to learn that to fit our Graco Snugride behind the front passenger seat, the front passenger seat has to slide way forward to the point where an adult passenger would hardly fit (with knees right against the dashboard). Obviously, same issue if we try to install it behind the driver’s seat. We didn’t even attempt to install it in the middle of the X3 (where we initially wanted it for extra safety) because our service advisor indicated that then both the passenger and driver seats would need to be pushed way forward for the baby seat to fit.

So – for now we’re ok because we only have 1 baby on the way. We’ll just slide the front passenger seat way forward, place the baby car seat behind it, and my wife can ride behind my seat when I drive next to the baby (turning our 5-seater into a 2-seater + baby seat). However, if we have a second baby soon (God willing), this strategy won’t work anymore because both baby seats will take up the back seat and the adults will be sqooshed in the front.

Has anyone else encountered/solved this issue (without trading in the X3 for an X5)? I know, I know, should have known better, checked before buying the car, etc…
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  #2  
Old 10-27-2012, 06:34 PM
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lbjgh lbjgh is offline
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An option may be to purchase a different baby seat...
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Old 10-27-2012, 06:53 PM
M&A QB M&A QB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbjgh View Post
An option may be to purchase a different baby seat...
That would fit under strategies for solving this issue that don't require trading the X3 for a larger vehicle. Has anyone installed an infant car seat on an F25 X3 that fits well and, if so, mind sharing brand/type? Combed through Bimmerfest and didn't find a recommendation in prior posts for newer X3s. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:03 PM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is offline
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I've read several posts from others that installed multiple car seats with no problem. One guy even had twins! Don't know what type they were using, so it must be totally possible with a different brand that what you have now.
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Old 10-27-2012, 09:36 PM
link01 link01 is offline
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I did a quick search on your carseat and it's too big for a lot of different cars and SUVs it seems (especially if you have the 35lb version). When it does fit in the car theres people that say a portion of the base hangs off the seat. Try the Chicco Keyfit 30. We used that in my old 2004 325xi and it fit. And I know for sure the back seat of the new X3 is bigger than that.
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  #6  
Old 10-28-2012, 07:15 AM
tango131 tango131 is offline
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Get a different seat, like the britax marathon. Should fit just fine. See this edmunds fit test and commments. http://blogs.insideline.com/roadtest...ment-test.html

I looked at that fit test before buying the x3.
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  #7  
Old 10-28-2012, 07:52 AM
ND40oz ND40oz is offline
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I'd at least try it in the middle to see if it really doesn't fit, that's where we keep our chicco keyfit 30 and it has plenty of room to clear the seats in the X5. I don't remember the X3 being that much tighter in width that it would cause an issue, but you may just have a huge carseat.
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:54 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Great post about the seat test. Have grand kids and only one is still "in the seat" but it was useful to know. Looking back at our two daughters it always seemed that we had more impedimentia to move with those kids than a car the size of the X3 could handle, what with strollers, portable playpens, various bags of clothing, diapers, snacks, etc. I think with two little ones I would want a larger car -- more like the X5 or XC70/90 but that's just me.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:47 AM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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Op-- not sure how far away from a Babies R Us/Toys R Us...but they allow you to take floor models out to your car to test fit. Believe it or not...this is extremely common. Heck with baby number 3 we had to test fit 3 seats to get one that fit properly in my wife's HUGE minivan!

The trend today is large car seats. The more expensive you get up the price chain the harder they are to fit. Just figure it is a short term problem as they go forward facing by year one and they fit the car better.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:05 AM
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At least you didn't get the GLK. What other car would you have gotten if you knew this was a issue?
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  #11  
Old 10-28-2012, 02:38 PM
link01 link01 is offline
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Car seats are such a pain and almost a scam. Feels like kids have to be in some kind of seat until they are pretty much a teenager. I'm in my 30's and I remember as a kid even sitting in the front seat of my dad's station wagon (or even in the trunk which was fun). Now the seat companies make it a law and automatically get money in their pockets. The extra bigger car seats seem to be also a trend where they don't fit in anything except super large SUVs. And we as consumers just seem to accept it cause these seats get good "ratings", whatever that means.
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Old 10-28-2012, 03:36 PM
colson79 colson79 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by link01 View Post
Car seats are such a pain and almost a scam. Feels like kids have to be in some kind of seat until they are pretty much a teenager. I'm in my 30's and I remember as a kid even sitting in the front seat of my dad's station wagon (or even in the trunk which was fun). Now the seat companies make it a law and automatically get money in their pockets. The extra bigger car seats seem to be also a trend where they don't fit in anything except super large SUVs. And we as consumers just seem to accept it cause these seats get good "ratings", whatever that means.
So true, sometimes I think the seat companies and car companies are working together. The car companies want the seats bigger so they can get us to go to the larger more expensive cars. But I remember when I was a kid riding in the front seat of a car and riding a bike without a helmet, oh the good old days.

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Old 10-28-2012, 05:54 PM
M&A QB M&A QB is offline
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Thanks to everyone for your prompt input and feedback. I think these communities are a tremendous resource.
I looked at the information you provided (including Tango's Edmund's review of X3 and Britax – great find!) and this is where we landed:

• No more Graco Snugride – heard very positive things about it, friends with small SUVs (and more petite passengers) have them and, more importantly, it's the lightest baby seat we found (7.5 lbs) which is important due to a back issue in our family, but they do seem to take a bit more space than brands like Chicco and Britax (maybe 3 to 5 inches, which makes a big difference – the difference between "reasonably usable" front seat and "unusable")

• No Britax B-Safe (apparently, the successor product to the "Britax Companion" product featured in the Edmunds review supplied by Tango) for us – apparently, Britax and the stroller we spent a long time researching and testing – Uppa Baby – are not compatible (there is no adaptor in the market for snapping the Britax baby seat onto our stroller). The Britax model is smaller than the Snugride, however, and but for this issue, it would have been in the running

• Chicco Keyfit 30 – the answer for us (for this baby, anyway). 3 to 5 inches shorter than the Snugride (and otherwise similar high marks for safety, etc), which means we can now use our front seats if we place the baby seat behind them (still, we can no longer slide our seats all the way back with the reckless abandon of our pre-baby days, but front seat leg room wouldn't be the first area we'll have to scale back to transition into parenthood)

Also, please note that my BMW service advisor was incorrect when he stated that placing the baby seat in the middle rear seat would create the same problems for both front riders as placing the seat behind the driver's or passenger's seat. There does appear to be more room for the front folks when the baby seat is placed in the middle. So, until the next kiddo comes, we're using Chicco Keyfit 30, middle rear seat. If we are blessed with a second (and a third?), we might consider a larger vehicle (we didn't this time around because my wife wanted to "ease into" the world of SUVs after several years in a coupe and didn't want a "tank" right away).

Your posts got me thinking too – when I was a kid, I didn't have half of these safety measures (heck, SUVs and minivans didn't even exist) and things turned out alright…..

In case someone else finds this useful, here's a list of specs I compiled based on information on manufacturer's websites (and sometimes retailer websites, when manufacturer did not have the specs); key measurement is "Depth:"

24" H x 17" W x 22" D / 9 lbs. inches - Chicco Keyfit 30
24H x 16.5W x 27D / 7.5 lbs – Graco Snugride
25.3H x 18.3W x 30D / 10 lbs – Britax B-Safe
28.5H x 17.5W x 30.9D inches – Maxi Cosi
28H x 18W x 31.2D inches – Evenflo
25.8H x 17.2W x 25.8D inches – Peg Perego

Last edited by M&A QB; 10-28-2012 at 06:18 PM.
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  #14  
Old 10-29-2012, 07:03 PM
poker838 poker838 is offline
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We bought a Britax Chaperone. It fits fine in the middle seat. It did require us to move the front seat up a little bit when we put it on the outboard seats.
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  #15  
Old 10-29-2012, 07:22 PM
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E36 Phantom E36 Phantom is offline
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A little late to the party, but I know what you're going through. We have 17mo twins and the carseat ordeal was hell. For us, we had to do one behind pax seat and one on the middle, I'm 6

Edit....don't know what happened to he rest of my post but I'm not inclined to retype it all.

Basically, put your child in the middle rear seat. By the time the next one arrives, move your older child to front facing behind either seat and the newborn in the middle. We moved our twins from rear facing Chicco Keyfit 30s to front facing Recaros at 10.5mo. People about to say they should stay rear facing until they're in jr high, save it. Unless you regularly run head first into things its no safer and more dangerous if rear ended.

Best of luck OP.
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  #16  
Old 10-30-2012, 09:18 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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"Suv's and minivans didn't exist"???? Oh I think they did -- you just didn't look for them back in the day. The SUV's were known as "Carry-Alls" and made by all three of the major's as well as International Harvester with the ubiquitous Suburban the most recognizable of the pack. They were serious utility vehicles with rubber floor mats and tough spartan interiors that could (and were) sometimes hosed out. As far as "mini vans" the first one was the Ford Econoline -- kind of a cab over thing with again great utility and hose out interior. Later on the rest of the pack caught up with Dodge for some reason putting out a line of popular vans that became cult favorites for customizing the interiors to a degree that you would not want your daughter to ride in one! The great fuel crisis of the early 70's (red and green flags, odd even license plate numbers, gas lines, etc.) ended the custom van era -- although you still see the odd one every now and then with the smoked custom windows and garish paint scheme running around. In the auto world there really isn't a lot that is new and startling that hasn't been at least started years before it seems.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:31 AM
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My Chicco Keyfit 30's fit my new X3 just fine. I have two of them since I have twins and I fit in the front seat without a problem. I am 6 feet 1 inch tall.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:32 AM
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Also, believe it or not, I felt the carseats fit better in the X3 than the X5 due to the seat design of the X5.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:41 AM
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Also, when combined with the LATCH, the Keyfit 30's are unbelievably easy to install.
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:33 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Not sure what happened, but I had three baby seats in the back of my X3 at one point. It was a tight fit and had to move the seats up but it worked.

Typically, had one car seat and it was dead center with no issues whatsoever. It was a Graco. I had a full five point harness (later on) as seat as my daughter is teeny (only 44 lbs) in the X3 right up until I got rid of it a month ago.

One of the things I really liked about the X3 is the ability to take a car seat in and out with minimum fuss. All of about 2-3 minutes. Sorry the newer one is more difficult.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:04 AM
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Yeah, I have the keyfit 30 installed in the middle seat. It's not a problem at all. I'm 6'1 and I didn't have to make any adjustment to my seating position to accommodate the infant carrier.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:08 AM
April1 April1 is offline
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+1 key fit 30 infant seat fits perfectly.
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:33 AM
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I went with Teutonia t-linx system and wile I had SOME issues, they were not as severe as to make the front seat unusable. I would highly recommend the stroller/car seat combo. It is the best looking and best performing car seat on the market, IMHO. With that being said, my little one graduated to a Recaro ProRIDE this past weekend and I am impressed by the build quality, safety features and the overall look of the seat. Another recommendation. And it is a long-termer, it goes all the way to 90 lbs.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:56 PM
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Yup, could not be happier with our Recaros.

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Old 11-02-2012, 03:43 PM
SpaceManGray SpaceManGray is offline
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Originally Posted by ND40oz View Post
I'd at least try it in the middle to see if it really doesn't fit, that's where we keep our chicco keyfit 30 and it has plenty of room to clear the seats in the X5. I don't remember the X3 being that much tighter in width that it would cause an issue, but you may just have a huge carseat.
Yes, we have a keyfit 30 as well and when it's in the middle, both front seats in the X3 can go all the way back without a problem.
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